Everybody loves music, even the greatest psychopaths among us, but… why? It’s obvious that scientific studies show that music – particularly classical – helps to improve mood and feelings of well-being and happiness, but what always intrigues me is learning about the psychology behind music and hacking my own lifestyle to leverage the most in music. Here are a few tips I’ve tried and that work AMAZING!
5 Ways to Let Music Enhance Your Life
- Use music to get into a “flow” state. Flow is a psychological state when you are completely focused on a single task. Time disappears, and not surprisingly, this is when most people feel their happiest, most connected, and most productive. Certain music can help you achieve flow, particularly those with hypnotic or ambient sounds like violin or piano. I always find listening to music on a low level helps me to concentrate on the task at hand and reach flow.
- Use music to anchor memories. We all have a certain songs that bring back a flood of memories, and you can use this to your advantage. Whenever I go on a trip now, I create a brand new playlist before I’m about to leave, with songs that I haven’t heard more than once or twice. During the trip I listen to ONLY this playlist, and then for perhaps the rest of time, I can access a flood of memories from the trip by replaying the playlist. The key is to use new songs, and not listen to them too much before and only selectively after the trip.
- Listen to new music for a boost. The reason why a new song you love feels so good is because it releases dopamine. When your brain can accurately predict the next beat of a song, it rewards you by releasing dopamine. This is the happy, feel-good, or reward chemical in the brain. But when a song gets old, it no longer feels good anymore. The dopamine stops coming. For this reason, you can give yourself a boost of happiness by listening to new songs.
- When learning, play Baroque classic music in the background. Studying for an exam or just trying to learn something new via Youtube? Consider playing some Baroque classic music in the background. This type of music is scientifically proven to lower anxiety levels and change brainwaves, putting you into an alpha state that allows you to learn much easier and better.
- Starting your day with a dance. It might seem silly, but I partook in this behaviour for months at a time when I was travelling alone. I found that playing my favourite song first thing in the morning and actually getting up and dancing to it completely changed my mood, setting me on the right path to have a great day and veering away from any feelings of anxiety or loneliness.
Get closer to the music you love
If you are already an AIR MILES Collector, then you might be familiar with some of the special perks they offer. One that I particularly love is the #PickYourStage Contest, which gives you the chance to win a trip for 4 to any Live Nation show in 2018 plus 25,000 AIR MILES. Enter the AIR MILES #PickYourStage contest here.
I wish you all of the best of luck on your music adventures and of course with the contest! Feel free to comment if you have any questions.